05/23/07 Agnello Arrosto con Carciofi from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Amico di tutti e di nessuno e tutt'uno" (A friend to all and a friend to none is one and the same.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cacio all'Argentiera
  -Rigatoni with Sausage and Escarole
  -Agnello Arrosto con Carciofi

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Cacio all'Argentiera

Cacio all'Argentiera
Sicilian Cheese Recipe


6 oz (400 grams) of caciocavallo cheese
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Dried oregano


Cut the cheese into thin slices and brown with the cloves of garlic in a frying pan with warm olive oil for five minutes.

Remove the garlic from the olive oil and add the tablespoon of vinegar.

Reduce the vinegar and dust the pieces of caciocavallo cheese with the oregano. Cover the frying pan and cook for five minutes.

Remove the frying pan from the heat and arrange the slices of cheese on a serving platter. Serve very warm. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Rigatoni with Sausage and Escarole

Rigatoni with Sausage and Escarole


1/2 lb uncooked Rigatoni pasta
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
l large head escarole (or 2 small)
l tablespoon minced garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Cook rigatoni according to package directions until just 'al dente'.

Cut escarole into thick shreds. Put in a large bowl and cover with cold water; soak for 1 minute. Drain. Cover again with fresh water and soak for one minute. Drain. Set aside in colander.

Saute garlic in olive oil. Add sausage meat. Cook until brown. If there is an excess amount of fat then pour it off.

Add escarole and saute until wilted. Add cooked Rigatoni pasta and chicken broth. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add grated Parmigiano cheese. Serve with additional Parmigiano cheese if desired. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Agnello Arrosto con Carciofi

Agnello Arrosto con Carciofi
Roasted Spring Lamb with Artichokes


8 medium fresh artichokes
Extra virgin olive oil
6 (1 lb) lamb shanks, cut 1 inch thick
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/2 cups lamb or beef stock
Sea Salt
8 thin slices capicollo (cured Italian ham) or cooked ham (about 3 ounces)


Remove the outer leaves of the artichokes so that only the tender inner leaves remain. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the trimmed artichokes and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove artichokes, let cool, then slice in half in order to scoop out the chokes with a small spoon. Reserve the hearts.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole, add the lamb shanks and saute until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the lamb shanks to a shallow roasting pan and scatter the onions and garlic in the pan. Pour in the meat stock, and roast for about 30 minutes.

Place a small saucepan over low heat, add the ham and saute until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the artichokes to the lamb, baste the meat and artichokes with the accumulated juices, and roast for another 10 minutes.

Add the ham and roast another 5 minutes, or until lamb is desired doneness.

Remove lamb from oven, let rest a few minutes, then serve warm. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Italy Finally Returns Looted Obelisk to Ethiopia

Rome - April 25 - A decades-long diplomatic dispute between Italy and Ethiopia over the looted Axum obelisk was finally put to an end on Monday, as the monument returned home 68 years after it was stolen by Italian fascist troops.

Thousands, including Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giogis, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Abune Paulos, and Italian ambassador Guido La Tella, watched the giant Russian-built Antonov cargo plane land at the small Axum airport in northern Ethiopia with a 50-ton granite block onboard.

It was the third and final piece of the dismantled obelisk. It joins other two pieces of the same weight which arrived last week. By the end of the year, they will be re-united and re-erected in Axum.

"I am very happy. This is not merely a piece of stone, it is our identity... It is the end of a very bad chapter," Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said.

The funeral stone, or stele, is one of a group of six obelisks erected at Axum when Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the 4th century A.D.

It was stolen by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1937 and turned into a symbol of fascist power during his short-lived efforts to revive the grandeur of imperial Rome.

To the anger of Ethiopia, Italy had long failed to deliver on promises to return the 1,700-year old monument.

The country signed a first agreement with the United Nations in 1947 and a second with the Ethiopian government in 1997 for restitution of all looted property, including the Axum obelisk.

In 2000 and 2001, Italy renewed the commitment. Nevertheless, the 1,700 year old monument stood at the center of Rome's Piazza di Porta Capena, near the Colosseum, until last year, when it was dismantled by Italian experts.

Returning the 180-ton, 24-meter (78-foot) high obelisk has not been a easy feat. When Mussolini took it to Italy, it was already in fragments. It was restored in Rome using metal rods embedded in concrete, making it very hard to disassemble.

It took six months to dismantle, cut and transport it back to Axum.

"Not a single fragment has been lost during these operations," said Michele Daniele, the architect who supervised the dismantling work.

Aptly, the last piece of the obelisk arrived in Axum on the day Italy celebrated Liberation Day, marking the 60th anniversary of the partisan uprising that helped free the country from fascism.

"It is a good occasion to celebrate this coincidence together. April 25 will be national holiday also in Ethiopia," Zenawi told reporters.

"Ma...porca puttana!" Throughout history, dictators have looted treasures, land and women from the countries they conquered. Our dictator looted heavy rocks!

With pieces of the Roman Coliseum and the Forum falling on the craniums of Romans at the time, who convinced Benny that we had to have this obelisk?

Then again, this is a man who had to exercise marvelous fascist practices by impounding black market toilets as they entered the country. At one point, Mussolini was said to have had more dogs trained to sniff out porcelain than to flush out refugees! However, Benny's hypocrisy eventually became his downfall. As the Allied Forces landed in Sicily in 1943, Benny's palace (comprised mostly of bathrooms) was ransacked and his 'amore' for comfortably-seated thrones was exposed to the still-squatting public.

Now, can you blame us for shooting and hanging him?

Famous quotes from Benny Mussolini:

"Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail." More or less like Italian Multi-Level-Marketing!

"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." All within my cranium, nothing outside my cranium, nothing against my cranium!

"It is humiliating to remain with our hands folded while others write history. It matters little who wins. To make a people great it is necessary to send them to battle even if you have to kick them in the pants. That is what I shall do." Let's unfold our hands and conquer Ethiopia! We'll write history by looting an extremely heavy rock tower. No need to kick Ethiopian in the pants because, at the time, they didn't wear any!

"War is to man what maternity is to a woman. From a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, I do not believe in perpetual peace." Pepperoni is to pizza what antiperspirant is to armpits. For a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, ask Mussolini.

"This is the epitaph I want on my tomb: "Here lies one of the most intelligent animals who ever appeared on the face of the earth." Here lies a toilet lover with the intelligence of a drunk animal.

"The best blood will at some time get into a fool or a mosquito." There seems to be plenty of fools and mosquitoes in Italy. Make sure you bring enough bug spray the next time you visit.

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